Dr. Vithit Attavijjakul, director of the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO), said his agency had received assistance from the World Health Organisation with both technology and experts to manufacture the model vaccine curing the deadly virus. The production process is expected to be complete in August and then the vaccine will be used on trials with both humans and animals.
Three sub-committees will be established to oversee trials for humans, vaccine registration and vaccine production promotion, he said.
Dr. Vithit said a budget of some Bt600 million was allocated by the Thai government to buy two million doses of vaccine from France?s Sanofi-Aventis and that the vaccine will arrive in Thailand in December — when the virus is expected to reach its peak.
The GPO is now producing about 20 million tablets of anti-viral drug Oseltamivir for reserve in August, said Dr. Vithit. The agency now has four million tablets of the drug in stock.
Dr. Paichit Varachit, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Public Health, said Thailand has now entered ?Phase 3? as the disease has already spread throughout the country. It means that the significance of laboratory tests with suspected patients has now dwindled.
What doctors will do now is to closely monitor patients demonstrating severe virus symptoms and are at risk, said Dr. Paichit.
He said four million handbooks on the virus will initially be distributed to the public. The handbooks can be obtained from hospitals and 7-Eleven convenience stores in Bangkok from Monday while distribution upcountry will start Tuesday and can be obtained at provincial halls and public health offices, and at hospitals. (TNA)